Last week Waverley’s new boys on the block unveiled their vision for the borough for the next four years.
The one-pager was given a pasting by the Tories – and a Farnham Resident who claimed: If this had been produced by the Tories we would probably have ripped it to shreds. – Oops, there goes any possible hope of Farnham Resident Cllr Gerry Hyman ever getting a seat on an influential committee?
Former leader Julia Potts described it as a …
“disappointing lack-lustre wish list” and wanted it deferred for more work.”
The document was high on aspiration and a bit thin on substance, but it was the item on Local Plan Part 2 that had the Tories juices flowing.
- Responsible planning and development, supporting place-shaping and local engagement in planning policy.
So where is LP2, cried the Tories, who, after withdrawing the document six months before the May election, now want it on the stocks? “Your honeymoon period is over” said Cllr Steve Cosser, “when are you going to produce LPP2 because it is critical.”
For our readers’ information Local Plan Part 1 – adopted in February 2018 – is still languishing in the High Court awaiting a decision on an appeal made by the Campaign For The Protection of Rural England and Protect Our Waverley. So until that is given the all-clear we will not know the exact number of homes to be provided in the borough of Waverley for the period up to 2032.
The second part of the Local Plan will contain the policies that direct planning application decisions and will allocate sites for housing in parts of the borough where Neighbourhood Plans are not doing so. This then meets the target set out in Local Plan Part 1. When the judge gets back from his holidays presumably? Hope he didn’t go with Thompsons, or it may be delayed further?
Don’t switch off, because this is important. LP2 earmarks sites – some very controversial – including sites in Haslemere – and allocates sites for Gipsies and Travellers. One such site has already been set up on the outskirts of Dunsfold but in the parish of Bramley, and there is a live planning application pending a decision. Whilst the families are already nicely settled in!
The original consultation exercise began in May 2018 and workshops were held all over the borough with comments required by July ’18. Residents, businesses and developers were asked to comment, and they did. Then just months later the Plan was pulled.
Said the former Portfolio holder for Planning, Councillor Chris Storey : “Waverley is one of the best places in the UK to live and work. But that doesn’t mean we should sit back and relax.
“We need to think about being a sustainable borough, where people of all ages want to, and can, continue to live and work. The council is interested in hearing the views of all our residents to help guide and shape the future of our beautiful borough and I would encourage everyone to take the time and to get involved”.
Now the Tories are urging the new Rainbow Coalition to get on with it, and asking why is the borough waiting for the LPP2?
Bramley’s Cllr Seaborne had a somewhat pharochial view of matters, saying an application had been submitted for land north of Lydia Park, Dunsfold. “An application that could see “largest gypsy site in the country become even larger. A scheme that me and my colleagues are very concerned about? So perhaps Cllr Follows could tell us all when he intends to produce LPP2?
Farnham Residents’ Cllr Andy McLeod denied that the colition was holding up LPP2, saying it was still being worked on by the planning department and there would be an annoucement in the next few weeks.
It took Cllr Steve Williams to calm down the noisy rhettoric. He reminded everyone there were four groups represented on the Executive, an Executive on which the Tories refused to be a part.
‘I’m afraid to say, what we have seen this evening shocks me to the core” with our Tory colleagues opposing things just for the sake of it.”
The draft Local Plan Part 2 and relevant supporting documents can be viewed on the web site at www.waverley.gov.uk/LPP2 and at the Waverley Borough Council offices, The Burys, Godalming, GU7 1HR, and at locality offices and public libraries within the Borough.